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First Lady Michelle Obama's Biography

  • VOA News

FILE - First lady Michelle Obama speaks at an event promoting the Let Girls Learn initiative in Washington, March 8, 2016.

FILE - First lady Michelle Obama speaks at an event promoting the Let Girls Learn initiative in Washington, March 8, 2016.

In addition to being the wife of President Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, first lady Michelle Obama is the mother of two daughters, 18-year-old Malia and 15-year-old Sasha.

She is the daughter of Fraser and Marian Robinson and the sister of older brother, Craig.

The Robinsons lived on the South Side of Chicago, where Fraser worked as a pump operator for the Chicago Water Department, despite being afflicted at a young age with multiple sclerosis.

After graduating from Chicago public schools, Obama focused on sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988 and then joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met Barack Obama.

A few years later, Michelle Obama decided to work with those involved in local communities. She was an assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago City Hall. She later served as the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that gets young people ready for public service.

Obama joined the University of Chicago in 1996 as associate dean of student services. She then served as vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

As first lady, Obama has continued to focus on young people. In 2010, she started Let's Move, a nationwide effort to address childhood obesity.

A year later, Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, initiated Joining Forces, a national veterans support program.

In 2014, Obama launched a program called Reach Higher, which is designed to inspire people to pursue education beyond high school.

She and President Obama started Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government initiative designed to help girls around the world get into and remain in school.

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